Durango is inviting developers and community members to give feedback about revitalization opportunities in the city’s MidTown area.
MidTown – a 50-acre stretch between downtown and north Main Avenue – is set to be a hot spot of development over the next 25 years. The city of Durango and its partners are inviting developers to get involved, starting with an online forum at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“We see it as a two-way event where we want to present Durango to the region, to developers with projects that align with our goals and values,” said Alex Rugoff, the city’s business development coordinator. “We’re also going to be seeking feedback from the development community.”
The MidTown Urban Renewal Area, approved March 16, stretches from West Ninth Street to just north of East 15th Street and from the Animas River to East Second Avenue. It’s an area with multiple unused spaces, run-down buildings, cracked sidewalks and disjointed streets.
City officials have pointed to the area as a prime opportunity to improve multimodal connectivity between downtown and north Main, increase the city’s stock of affordable housing or mixed-use development, incentivize arts and cultural opportunities and improve infrastructure.
The Durango Development Opportunities Forum is targeted toward local developers, but the city is trying to expand its outreach to the region and statewide, Rugoff said.
“We see this as a way to help build new relationships,” he said.
The online event is free and open to the public, although the content will be more targeted for the developers, he said. Attendees will be able to participate in a Q&A discussion and poll questions.
During the forum, the city will present its vision and key priorities for development in MidTown, such as workforce housing, historic preservation, adaptive reuse and business growth.
City staff members will share multiple Durango properties coming on the market, including publicly owned properties like vacant parking lots, historically significant properties and adaptive reuse opportunities.
Staff members will also go over incentives and available programs, such as tax increment financing, streamlined review processes, flexible design standards and Durango’s established opportunity zones, which come with their own financial incentives for development.
The La Plata Economic Development Alliance, a collaborator for the event alongside Downtown Colorado Inc., will present market data and the economic outlook for the area, Rugoff said.
In addition to sharing upcoming opportunities, the city wants to hear input from developers about what would be helpful to them during the development process. For example, what information do developers need during the bidding process that the city might not already provide?
The feedback will guide the development process as Durango takes steps to improve city-owned sites, Rugoff said.
“We want builders and developers to know that Durango has a set of priorities and also a set of incentives that are available,” he said.
Registration is available at durangogov.org/URA.